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Massage Effective Treatment For Low Back Pain

Massage Effective Treatment For Low Back Pain

By Amber Mills.

According to the Global Burden of Disease, 2010, low back pain is the single leading cause of disability in the United States.[1] It is the second most common reason for seeing a doctor in the United States, following coughs and respiratory infections.[2] And 8 out of 10 people will have low back pain at some point in their life.[3]

In the July 5, 2011 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, a study showed that massage therapy is an effective form of treatment for low back pain with benefits lasting up to six months.[4] The research was performed by Group Health Research Institute and enrolled 400 participants in the study, who had chronic low back pain. The participants in the study were randomly assigned to one of the following groups: full-body relaxation massage group, deep tissue massage group, or medication and physical therapy group. The study lasted 10 weeks and one in three of the participants who received either type of massage said their low back pain was significantly improved or gone, but only one in 25 of the participants who received medication and physical therapy said they had similar relief.

Daniel Cherkin, who headed the research, stated “we found both types of massage were equally effective in helping people improve their function and diminish their symptoms”.[5] Cherkin also said that massage relieved the pain for six months or more in some participants.

If you have been suffering from chronic low back pain and traditional treatments haven’t been successful in relieving your pain, give massage a try. As the research shows, it can ease your pain and help improve your level of function.


[2] Bigos S, et al. Acute Low Back Problems in Adults, Clinical Practice Guideline No. 14. Rockville, MD: U.S. Public Health Service, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, AHCPR Pub. No. 95-0642, Dec. 1994.Eyerman, Edward MD. Journal of Neuroimaging. June 1998

Amber MillsAmber Mills – Curriculum Director

“It is my hope that our students walk away from Soma with confidence in their clinical massage skills and their ability to naturally help the body heal.”